I want to design more commercial spaces. Not huge office buildings although I had a great custom office building to do last year, and it was fun. But space where people go to be healed or pampered.

Timeliness:  A commercial design project, so different in terms of clients and client needs, needs to move quickly in most cases. Unlike the Apple stores which took years of planning, including when the meticulous Steve Jobs scrapped all his plans after seeing a better way. But there is no denying that the Apple Store layout and finishes show both efficiency and beauty in a crowded and popular destination shopping spot.

Special-ness:  Apple stores offer a Genius Bar for technical support, and free product workshops for the public. The Apple Stores have, according to an article in The New York Times, been responsible for “[turning] the boring computer sales floor into a sleek playroom filled with gadgets.” These stores have a standardised appearance with white or light wood tables and a minimal design. The sales folks walk around with tablets and there is not much wait time to buy and go.

Special-ness and your business:  Why not? Why be pedestrian when it costs no more, with good design, to be special. For example, my personal services business design highest gripe is ugly manicure salons. At risk of getting into big trouble, I won’t go around town taking phone snaps of ugly salons, or heaven forbid, unclean workstations. But wouldn’t you, and your customers, prefer to be here, at the salon in the photo? It does not cost more to be tasteful. It can take some guidance to get to where you want to be. And can cost less.

Looks Expensive!   You may be looking at this and thinking “wow, this looks expensive!” I guarantee that it could easily be less than the grotesque pedicure all-in-one-soak-your-feet-and give-you-a-brutal-back-massage contraptions we encounter in pedicure stations. Yes, this has custom upholstery (a good thing) but the little sinks are pretty standard small sinks, as are the gooseneck faucets. This is the classic case of doing more with less and making it look great.

Yes, it needs to be designed by a professional, or many things large and small could and will go wrong. Small service business owners, let’s talk design, for function and beauty, and increasing customers and their happiness and satisfaction.



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